Opinions expressed in this piece are solely those of the author.
In November 2022, Florida, under the guidance of the state Surgeon General, upheld by the Florida Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine, banned child sex changes. This week, in an upcoming appearance on The Daily Show, President Biden said this, “Ah, transgender kids is a really harder thing. What’s going on in Florida is, as my mother would say, close to sinful. I mean, it’s just terrible what they’re doing.” He suggested that the way to protect transgender kids was to “pass legislation like we passed on same-sex marriage.”
At the December 2022 signing of the Respect for Marriage Act, he referenced “…hundreds of callous and cynical laws introduced in the states, targeting transgender children, terrifying families, and criminalizing doctors who give children the care they need. We have to protect these children, so they know they are loved and that we will stand up for them (until) they can speak for themselves.”
If this is what passes for truth, then my name is Alice, and I have fallen down the rabbit hole into an alternate universe. Tea and cake in the garden, anyone?
It is indeed an upside-down world where those who want to protect the innocence of children are considered callous and cynical. They are accused of targeting children and terrifying families by preventing doctors from mutilating young bodies and prescribing puberty-blocking drugs and other hormone therapy. Meanwhile, those who clamor for these “rights” are the self-anointed protectors of our youth who are merely giving them “the care they need.” All this, of course, in the name of love.
The horror of an evil that turns children into lab experiments and promotes butchery in sterile operating theaters can scarcely be articulated. A governing body that sanctions such atrocities has given itself over to a dark and awful power and will one day face a Judge from whom there is no escape. For now, though, we hold our collective breath at the harm being inflicted upon the innocent.
As if the life-altering consequences of these methods were not enough, the statistics tell the truth about their effectiveness. According to the NIH, 80% of transgender individuals have considered suicide, and 40% have attempted it. Of the 40%, suicidality is highest among transgender youth. If this is the cure, then why are so many still suffering? Why hasn’t it brought relief? With any other medical procedure, such as a knee replacement, for instance, would we accept this kind of failure rate? Surely, no rational human would choose a physician or operation with that record.
When something isn’t working, we must ask the question, “Why?” In this case, it’s because we are making drastic modifications on the outside to fix something amiss on the inside. Gender dysphoria is real, but cutting, sewing, and medicating, trying to change our own biology will not bring the thing that we are seeking. That “thing” is lasting peace. Real peace is always the sign when something is right and true and good. For my own family, such peace is the acid test.
Some years ago, my second son was struggling. A high-energy, adventure-loving kid, he found himself stuck in a factory job post high school. College, he’d found, wasn’t for him, and now he felt trapped in a windowless room, running a machine, doing the same thing over and over. Eager to pursue his dreams of being an actor, he started taking classes here and there at night, adding a part-time job and scattering his efforts and time about like so much birdshot. Desperate for direction and purpose, he flailed, looking for his “next thing.”
I could feel his anxiety cresting at flood stage. Finally one night before he dashed out the door yet again, I asked him the question. “Do you have peace?” He stopped. “With everything you’re doing and trying, do you have peace?”
I shall never forget the look on his face. Frustration and angst tinged with despair had erased his irrepressible smile, and from him came just one word. “No.”
“What if,” I said, “for a time, you stop everything extra that you’re doing, the classes and the extra job? What if you just focus on your day job and as a family, we fast and pray, asking God to give you direction? Would you like to try that?” He nodded assent, and we began.
Every Wednesday at noon, we fasted and prayed for him, all except The Cub who chomped happily away with all his teeth at the elementary school up the road. Together, we asked God to show him what to do. Very soon, the answer came. For him, it would be the World Race, an 11-month, 11-country mission trip with a squad of 40 peers.
I saw the peace return. All summer long, he worked hard at fundraising, and that fall we launched him on his grand adventure. From Europe to Africa to Asia, he and the team worked with many ethnicities and people groups, carrying everything they needed for those 11 months in backpacks. It was an education that college could never provide, and it changed him. It opened doors for other opportunities overseas afterwards, and his footprint now is global.
I share this story to say that peace must come from within. Whether its return is aided by professional help, such as therapy and counseling, or by times of prayer and spiritual consolation with one’s family, there are many tools we can use that preserve both body and soul.
May all who are hurting find such peace. And as always, may God bless our America.